In General

Snapshots from BlogCamp

Ever had that feeling of immense satisfaction of doing something really well? Yeah, that’s how I felt. The camaraderie and the awesome spirit of the community is worth every minute we spend on putting together the event for the last three and half months.

Today, I scanned through Technorati for the reaction from the participants and it’s almost been an unanimous thumbs up. Not just the attendees but also the media. Personally, some of the us in the organizing team felt we should have done better. In hindsight, we realized that we had set a very high bar for ourselves.

The best sign of success for the event was when the Yahoo! Team came up to us at the end of the event and said they would like to sign up for the platinum sponsorship for BlogCamp 2007 right away. Given half a chance, they probably would have signed the cheque right away. You can’t beat that feeling of pride when the top sponsor falls completely in love with the event’s organizing.

Sure, not all the sessions were great. Some sucked. But there were others that rocked. Hey, this is an unconference. There’s no prior checking of the quality of presentation. We lay it out entirely on trust. And its great that overall, the event turned out to be well worth the weekend that the folks spent attending it.

Here are some of the snaps from the event. Most snaps are from Jace, who totally is a kickarse photographer.

This team of Aswin, Shyam and Satish took it onto themselves to ensure that there was live video coverage of the event. There were many folks from abroad who could check out the events live. ClipStream was such a super cool service and the folks out there were extremely supportive and didn’t charge us for the awesome service.

Someone titled their blogpost ‘6 to 60’ which was so appropriate. There as a 6 year old kid and there’s this 60 year old gentleman. The person above is Srinivasan of Prime Point Foundation who has the penchant to grab on to new techniques in communication really quick. He was one o the most enthusiastic participants in the event.

The team of Chandru, Anand, Suman and Chitra had a nice time at the event. I’m of the belief that the sessions really don’t matter much. It’s the people time. Get together with folks you like and spark off conversations on your own. It was good to see folks branch out and have fun.

Rohini of CNN IBN figuring out the camera angle shots with the cameraman. There was plenty of media presence at the event. CNN IBN, NDTV, Headlines Today, BBC, Business Today, Business India, The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express, Rajasthan Patrika, Cyber Media and GigaOm.

With the beach house party that went late into the wee hours of the morning, it was no wonder Shyam couldn’t hold on. I couldn’t either. During lunch break, I went upstairs and slept for sometime. We slept the previous night at about 3:00 AM and got up at 5:45 AM to get started for the next day.

Folks at work. There were lots of folks doing live blogging and that was a heartening sign.

NDTV interviewing George Zachariah, CEO of Yahoo!. George is an awesome man and a fantastic sport. I’ve known him personally for many years and it was a personally gratifying moment to see him in the event. When both of us were at Sify, he was a big supporter of many initiatives that I had taken.

Lesson: Never catch a wink at a bloggers event. Ever. And this is what’ll happen. Well, what do you expect with trigger happy folks all over the place. Poor guy, he’s probably too pooped out from the late night party.

The quiz was a great one. Vinod and his team of quizzers did a fantastic job customizing the quiz to suit the event. Here, folks are tabulating the preliminary quiz results.

My personaly favorite photograph of the event. The paper-wiki as I call it, is really the true symbol of an unconference. Love those post-its.

Quite an improvisation. Someone placed a chair on the table to give a better coverage of the audience for the live video coverage.

That’s me in the green Tshirt, pretty fidgety trying to get things worked out for the live Robert Scoble skypecast. Things got a bit mucked up and as Murphy’s law states, Shit happened. Finally, we figured out a solution to get things rolling.

The crowd was at its raptest best during Sunil Gavaskar’s talk. I thought he was cool when he said upfront his ignorance of technology and how a misfit he was in this event. It was nice to see him not pretend he knew everything about podcasting.

As soon as his talk finished, there were a bunch of guys who surrounded Sunil trying to get autographs and to just close to the legend. Afterall, how many chances do you get to get like this. Nothing wrong with it. Personally, I would never go and ask for an autograph from anybody.

Blogging in Politics was an interesting topic. There are many in the US and France where politicians have embraced blogging nicely. Not too many in India. The session sparked an interesting debate.

A look at the participants in the auditorium.

Like this snap a lot. Atul is a big supporter of unconferences and over a period, we have become nice pals. I like his enthusiasm his penchant to help out. I’m definitely attending, even though I’m not big into open source movement. It’s the community feel that I totally like.

Me, Ram and Kausik got together for an impromtu talk on Podcasting. Originally, all of us were supposed to give individual presentations but we quickly molded our topics very well and really like the way the session shaped up.

Hats off to Sify. The wifi was flawless and had fantastic bandwidth. The Sify team was one of the most hardworking folks who worked almost throughout the night to make sure that everything was perfect. I personally believe that the great WiFi was an important factor in making BlogCamp a success.

A journalist interviewing Neha.

I totally dig Scott. The next day Scott had to leave the country (coz he lost his passport) and its not a great situation to be in. In spite of all the problems, he came over and talked at the event. Great spirit, I’d say.

The 6 year old Kid who totally stood out in the event.

Great WiFi.

Notice the stalls. They are on the stage. While the talks are on the ground. Why? Hey, the Unconference, remember? I know your are smirking. But really, we wanted to something different. Having a stage and a podium would have been so uncool at this event.

Overall an extremely satisfying event. My only grouse is that I wasn’t able to spend time meeting up with people leisurely. I missed the causal networking. Things were a whirlwind for me. Other than that, I’ll take the experience from the event to my grave. Loved every bit of it.